storytelling as social protest. I continue to make the argument that stories serve as a critical witness to empower people to forge a path toward social change.
It’s been almost five years since I began using my own stories of coming out at a Christian college, surviving a gay exorcism, and discovering a way to reconcile my faith with my sexuality; all in hopes of instilling a sense of hope and encouragement in the lives of other LGBTQs.
Less than a year ago, I began to think: I should tell a story about storytelling.
Among the many things I do, I am often invited to lead workshops and trainings on how to share our stories in our work as activists, ministers, worship leaders, and doers of justice. About two years I was approached by a participant in one of my workshops that suggested I write a book about my life as an activist and storyteller, sharing strategies and how I use my past to make a difference in the present and future.
I didn’t immediately jump on the idea. I had no idea how to go about writing such a book, because of part of me didn’t understand how I myself manage to do the work that I do. I didn’t know how to tell a story about storytelling.
Well, a few months ago, a fire was re-lit under me to make a book happen—credit to works by my friends: An Imperceptible Spark by Steven Rice and Entrepreneurship As An Act of Resistance by Brian Murphy). I began to reflect on how stories work within the realm of social justice making, and what it means for a story to transform the life of another individual. Realizing that my workshops and trainings are not widely available and are usually catered to a specific cause and audience, I wanted to create a book that served as resource for multiple audiences, individuals with many different purposes and diverse backgrounds.
I’m excited to announce that all my reflecting and ideas have paid off.... this fall I will be releasing, Outspoken: Empowering Our Stories of Hope and Survival.
Through this book I want to spark conversations about the diverse ways stories have the power to transform and heal lives and communities. In this book, I share strategies on how to use stories in effective and proactive ways so as to produce a critical witness. I draw on my own personal experiences as an activist and storyteller.
Outspoken will be published through Ruca Press. Print copies will be available for purchase through Amazon, and electronic formats will include Kindle, Nook, and iBook.
In the meantime follow Outspoken on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the new book. Watch for more updates, the website launch, and more!